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Empty promises 

Health-care reform passed. Can you hear it?

“Yes we can! Yes we can!”

The Republicans are still clawing their eyes out over the whole thing and 39 Democrats shied away because signing onto the abortion portion (do I smell a future Dr. Seuss tale?) of the bill might kill them in the next election.

“Sure we can! Sure we can!”

Then there’s the lack of a public option that many of us thought was more or less a promise from the beginning.

“Um … still kinda can! Still kinda can!”

Of course, the whole package requires everyone to sign onto health plans—whether they can afford to or not. Those plans may just be slightly less crappy than they were before reform—which is to say what health insurance should have been from the beginning. And this, of course, means all the insurance companies that screwed the American public enough to inspire reform will be flush with another 32 million some-odd customers.

“I give up! I give up!”

And after it all, Washington needs a break. Speaking to an NPR reporter, a woman protesting at the White House the day the health-care boondoggle went through said she hopes President Barack Obama will now fulfill his campaign promise of immigration reform. Unfortunately, she regretted, it’s probably not going to happen after the ultra-contentious health-care war. Because after tackling a big campaign promise, he and the other pansy Dems probably need a nap and some sort of milk-and-cookies issue before jumping into another firestorm.

“More nap time! More nap time!”

Chamber follies

Which doofus put this header together in the SLO Chamber of Commerce’s latest newsletter?

“If it worked for Rwanda, can it work for SLO?”

Uh ...

Brace yourself, it gets worse.

“The country has made an incredible recovery since the infamous 1994 genocide, and now has one of the most advanced communications networks in the world.”

Are they actually hinting that the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of people was just a bump in the road to faster Internet? After all, SLO is flashing some metaphorical skin to try and entice Google to bring its fiber-optic lines our way.

You’re kidding me, right Chamber? No? I need to lie down. Dammit, I can’t get this out of my head. What are they saying here? Genocide in SLO might get us one step closer to faster Internet and lightning-speed porn? This feels like a slap in the face and big middle finger to human decency and common sense. What’s next? “It worked for Nazi Germany, can it work for SLO?”

Stay braced. There’s more.

During my perpetual hunt for column fodder I happened upon the website for the Chamber Diversity Committee. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Did you?

Before going on, it must be said that any group of people with the gumption to tackle diversity in a place like San Luis Obispo—and let’s face it, the whole county—should get the tip of our hats for taking on such a hopeless task. Then I perused the committee’s list of “accomplishments.” One seems severely out of place. Here’s a sampling:

• Participate in GALA, Pride in the Plaza.

• Submitted motion to Chamber Board supporting Proposition 8.

You might be thinking supporting Proposition 8 conflicts with participating in gay pride marches. You’d be right. This was either a typo—a severe typo—or the committee gets a hoot out of supporting gay-pride marches while also voting against their right to marry. It’s a bold stance, though.

Pave paradise

Who is this Jeff Edwards guy? Well, let me tell you. Edwards is a developer out of Los Osos who has an uncanny ability to unnecessarily scare and piss people off—more so than most developers. Right now you might be familiar with the name because Edwards has this idea to shut down the Oceano Airport and turn the land into condos or a town center or … I’m not really sure what. But it’s going to be big and beautiful and full of stucco. Edwards assures it will be way better than that useless airport. I’m getting the sense that whenever he sees a big juicy chunk of land, his eyes turn into big dollar signs and pop out of his head while a old-timey car horn goes aoooga! aoooga!

Problem is, he’s scaring the hell out of pilots by conducting monthly public meetings to push the development and prancing about as if this is actually going to happen. It’s not. As far as I can tell, no one with any real power is backing up his fanciful proposal.

Then again, Edwards can be a sneaky little guy. Last I remember hearing his name pop up was in Los Osos, where he wanted to develop another piece of land next to some property he already owned. But the neighboring owners didn’t want to sell, and he wanted it bad. Forbidden fruit, I guess. Edwards told them (in words that may have sounded something like this), “Fine. Don’t sell to me. But if you don’t I’m going to take my property and build something as tall as I possibly can. Really, I don’t have to build that high, but I’ll go just enough to block that purty view you have of the Pacific.”

I heard they sold. Maybe you pilots should watch out.

Aooga! Aooga! Contact the Shredder at shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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